Tour de France: Mark Cavendish withdraws due to dislocated collarbone suffered on stage one
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 06/07/14 12:53pm
Mark Cavendish is "absolutely devastated" after being forced to withdraw from the Tour de France due to the injury he sustained in a crash on stage one.
Cavendish fell heavily 250m from the finish line in Harrogate and a subsequent medical examination revealed he had dislocated his collarbone.
He waited until Sunday morning to make a decision on his future in the race, but opted not to take to the start line of a punishing 201km second stage from York to Sheffield.
He said: "We kind of knew last night. I knew straight away. I normally bounce back from crashes quite well. I lie there, I assess my body and yesterday, for the first time in my career, I knew something was wrong.
"I wanted to finish. I had to get my bike to the finish. I was able to do that but I was in pain last night. I held a bit of optimism that it was maybe just swelling and it would go down in the night and I could ride this morning. It's actually worse this morning and it's not possible to start from a medical point of view.
"I'm absolutely devastated about it. One, the Tour de France is here in the UK for another two days, and secondly I've got an incredible team. It's hard, but it could be worse for me.
I'm absolutely devastated about it. One, the Tour de France is here in the UK for another two days, and secondly I've got an incredible team. It's hard, but it could be worse for me.
"I've got friends who have come back from Afghanistan with the Armed Forces - you saw my Help for Heroes helmet yesterday. My friend Josh is a double amputee, missing his right arm. Things could be worse."
Cavendish's exit from the race is a major disappointment for the millions of fans expected to line the routes of the race's remaining two days in Britain. He would have been among the favourites to win Monday's third stage from Cambridge to London, which finishes on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.
'Gap that wasn't there'
His withdrawal also means there are now only three Britons in the Tour, with defending champion Chris Froome being joined by Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates.
Cavendish's crash came following a collision with Australian rider Simon Gerrans, who also fell heavily but will continue in the race.
Cavendish added: "I spoke to him after the finish and then I called him in the hotel. In other circumstances I would have braked because there was no chance I would win the stage, but I wanted that bad. I tried to find a gap that wasn't there. It was my fault.
"I need to go and get an MRI and perhaps surgery on this, so I'll try and get that sorted as soon as possible so I can get back to racing as soon as possible."